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Susan Willis, Ph.D.

(650) 464-7323
susan@drsusanwillis.com

Palo Alto Office:
555 Middlefield Rd, #209
Palo Alto, CA 94301

San Jose Office:
1625 The Alameda, #404
San Jose, CA 95126

(650) 464-7323
DREAM WORK
Why do it?

Blue DoorDream work is often both fascinating and profound.  It is appropriate at all stages of therapy and/or personal growth.  It is useful for all ages, backgrounds and psychological situations.  It can be particularly useful for people who struggle for meaning in their life or can't figure out what they'd like to do or what their passion is.  If doing dream work seems silly or unfounded to you, I can steer you toward reading which will show its utility and validity.  You can start with the works of Carl Gustav Jung, MD, the Swiss psychiatrist who spent decades developing an understanding of the unconscious aspects of the psyche and how and why these aspects come to consciousness, often in the form of dreams. 

In my experience, working with dreams is often the heart of the action in personal growth (individuation) and in depth therapy.  Your dreams are messages to you and your conscious mind from the less well-known unconscious parts of yourself.  These dreams provide perfectly-fitting and perfectly-timed commentary and guidance on precisely what is needed for the next step in your psychological development.  You will be amazed as you begin to appreciate the wisdom of your inner “dream maker.”  This work will help you know, trust, and treasure yourself in a deeper way.  


What if I don't remember my dreams?

Sleepy LionDon’t worry if you don’t remember your dreams currently.  It’s not essential that you do dream work to make progress in therapy.  Yet often, at some point in our work together, the dream flow starts.  To be ready, I suggest you place a notepad and pen by your bed so that you can quickly capture any bit of a dream you recall upon wakening, before it escapes your memory.  Even the smallest fragment can be immensely useful.  Also, you might try thinking about inviting a dream as you doze off to sleep.    

How does dream interpretation work?

During a dream work session, I will ask you to relate your dream slowly while I write it down verbatim. This process gives you a chance to recall more and to revisit your thoughts and feelings about the dream.  Then our work together on interpretation begins.  It’s usually not possible for any of us to figure out the nuances of our own dreams, because our egos and beliefs want to see the dream in a particular way.  Working with an objective, experienced person can be immensely helpful—and that’s as true for me with my dreams as it is for you.  
Journal
I will ask you about your “associations” to certain elements of the dream and the feelings the dream evoked, and any ideas you have regarding them. Then we will explore further.
 
We will look at what the dream is saying psychologically to you--what needs to be understood.  It’s like learning a new language at first, since many things in a dream are presented symbolically or metaphorically.  No dream is “crazy” or “nonsensical,” once it becomes clear.  Nightmares can be considered really loud messages that your unconscious needs you to hear right now.  There is nothing that’s not useful and important, nothing to be disregarded or tossed aside.  I will bring forward my years of experience in helping to illuminate the meaning of dreams. As we talk your dream through, clarity will begin to emerge, and there is often an “Aha!” moment when the interpretation is just right.  It’s an art.  You will come to revere the strength and knowing of your deeper self that comes from good dream work.

Start your dream work now:
Request a therapy appointment online here.